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Re: Shilas

From: Mani Varadarajan (mani_at_best.com)
Date: Thu Dec 10 1998 - 10:31:52 PST

John Marshall asks, on behalf of someone else:
> >2 years ago I went to India and I visit Chitrakoot, the place where Lord
> >Rama was exiled. The Mandakini river flows there. The year before I had the
> >honor to whorship a Govardhana-sila. So when I went to India I had a big
> >desire to whorship the Lord in that form. So when we were in this place I
> >could not stop the desire to take 3 ¨stones¨ from the river in the very
> >place where the steps of Sita can be seen on the stones. My question is:
> >There is any chance that this stones can be worshipped as silas or not?. 
> >If they are not silas I get any benefit whorshiping them?.

Dear John:  

The following is just my opinion and does not constitute
an authoritative answer of any sort.

It is my opinion that worship should not be done for the
purpose of getting personal benefit (kAmyArtha).  All 
worship should be for glorifying the Lord, to please Him 
by performing His service.

This having been said, it is also my opinion that if you 
see Divinity in a stone, and worship it with all sincerity,
the Lord will manifest Himself in the stone to receive
the worship of His devotee. There is support for this
belief in Alvar paasurams and other texts.  Some others
may call this "prema-pUja".

Mani